Sacrifice for job security

January 15, 2009
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How much would you be willing to give up for the good of your law firm or office? I heard on the news The Indianapolis Star is requiring all employees – even the higher-ups – to take one week off without pay in the first quarter. The order is in response to the economy and the hard hit newspapers have been taking over the years thanks to the Internet.

A forced unpaid vacation is a pretty bold step in an attempt to save money. On the one hand, I’d be happy that it was only a week off unpaid as opposed to being fired. On the other hand, I’d be bothered that I was told I had to take vacation and lose out on that week of pay.

Companies across the board are seeking ways to slash the bottom line and keep businesses going, but how much are employees willing to sacrifice? Would you accept a pay cut, no bonus, less paid vacation or slashed benefits in turn for job security? It may not come to this in law firms because the nature of their business is completely different than newspapers. It may already be happening in some firms and we just don’t know about it.

In this economy, it seems like we hear about layoffs in all professions across the board on a daily basis, and I wonder what employees would be willing to do to keep their job.
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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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